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Obaseki, Oshiomhole in Renewed Hostilities

…As Idahosa, Osifo Trade Words Over Allegation of Jealousy   

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and former political adviser to the immediate past governor of Edo State, Charles Idahosa Tuesday attributed the feud between the governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole to “envy and jealousy” on the part of the latter, stating that Oshiomhole had become uncomfortable because of the “unequaled” performances of Obaseki “in just three years”.

At his pre-66th birthday press conference at his Benin residence, Idahosa also debunked the claim by the national chairman of the ruling APC that he only nominated one commissioner into Obaseki’s government. He said “I read where he said I brought only one commissioner and I was disappointed because I knew he was lying. I have said before that Oshiomhole brought the deputy governor, he brought the SSG, he brought chairman of the party, he brought Secretary of the party; all these are not hearsay”.

Buttressing his “envy and jealousy” theory, Idahosa said “Obaseki and Oshiomhole, as far as I am concerned, are one; Obaseki is a creation of Adams Oshiomhole. But if two friends are quarreling and you cannot settle the quarrel, there must be something behind it that nobody can talk about and that is envy and jealousy. There are no two ways two friends can come out during a quarrel and one will say I am jealous, I am envious of him; nobody will say so. What is happening is that Oshiomhole is envious and jealous of Obaseki’s achievements. There is no way he is going to come out boldly to say that is why they are quarreling.

“When Oshiomhole came, 30 percent was a pass mark. There was nothing so he became an instant hero. Edo south produced somebody who scored 20 percent and Oshiomhole managed to score 45 percent; Obaseki, within three years, has scored 85 percent. Obaseki’s record is so intimidating, making his achievements look ordinary. So, he is jealous. With a year to go, jealousy and envy entered”.

Also accusing Oshiomhole of undermining the governor in recommending two persons from the state for appointment into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, without the latter’s input the former political aide to the national chairman of the ruling party was miffed why he would continuously want to be the governor when his tenure had ended. In a veiled reaction to the directive by the governor to his aides not to join issues with his predecessor, Idahosa said he was speaking up not as Obaseki’s aide, but one of the founding fathers of the ruling party. He posited that when he and other leaders of the party were fighting the governor over his style of governance, it was Oshiomhole who begged and convinced him not to leave the party and wondered why he was finding it difficult to call to order politicians he described as ‘renegades in Abuja’.

As if telling the former governor ‘I told you so’, Idahosa retorted: “I warned Oshiomhole that Obaseki will face him after dealing with the party leaders. So, when the thing now started happening, he is shouting. We, politicians, are angry because Oshiomhole pampered us with money and contracts, but Obaseki is not ready to give politicians money”. He, however, warned that “anybody thinking of wrestling Obaseki out of APC that will be the end of the party in Edo and South-south”. Idahosa boasted that despite the crisis in the party, “Edo State is under APC. We will still win. The people are with Obaseki. What you are seeing now is noise in a vendor’s mouth”.

However, returning fire for fire, Washington Osa Osifo, a former education commissioner and member-elect of the State House of Assembly, representing Idahosa’s Uhunmwode constituency, pooh-poohed Idahosa’s judgment about Oshiomhole. Osifo said he was not in the least surprised by Idahosa’s tantrums, stating that “he likes creating rancor within company of friends because he believes that the only way he can be relevant in politics is to fan the embers of war”. Reacting to Idahosa’s performance rating of the governor and his predecessor, Osifo said “what is happening is not a contest between Godwin Obaseki who is today governor, and formerly a man under the payroll of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole particularly in a very sensitive position as the economic adviser.  For eight years you were with him; you started and ended with him and you took over from him. If the man scored 45% according to Charles Idahosa, the governor of today, if he’s scoring 85% within three years, according to Charles Idahosa, it means that he didn’t serve the man in truth, and he didn’t serve the man with due diligence. He was not loyal to his service. It means that he deliberately hid something away from him, good advice from him, which if Comrade knew at that time, it would have helped comrade to do better than he did; assuming that was the case. But today, that is not even the case. The people of Edo State know the difference; Godwin himself knows the difference. Idahosa is trying to put him in a race his legs are not strong enough to do”.

He told the magazine “I was on a live television programme yesterday and I told Edo people, I told the APC people that look, there is no need for this crisis. That the governor himself is a victim, very selfish-minded, wicked, few advisers with inordinate ambition. I have told the governor openly like I have also told him privately, that this battle is not his battle; he’s fighting another person’s battle. I am not surprised that Hon. Idahosa has said what he said. That he has even judged Oshiomhole that way is a sign of his own failure because he was Oshiomhole’s adviser for eight years and as an adviser, he was supposed to bring the best from his student even these his assertions are not true. It is like saying God is envious of we mortals even when he created us. Comrade Oshiomhole is not God, but he made Obaseki who he is today. He threw in everything to make him governor”.

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